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Daily News Digest – August 26, 2019

Good morning! College football is officially back and all is right with the world. Good luck to us all focusing on work this week.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 26.



1. Gas tax increase is here.

  • In less than a week, Alabama drivers will see a six-cent gas tax increase, the first increment of the 10-cent hike approved by state lawmakers and Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this year.
  • When fully implemented, the increase will generate about $320 million a year for road and bridge projects. The first five state projects have already been identified and are underway.
  • Alabama cities and towns will get an additional $26 million a year when the tax is fully implemented. Counties will receive an additional $80 million. Those are totals to be distributed amongst municipalities.
  • The current average price of a gallon of gasoline in Alabama is $2.23, which is below the national average of $2.59. City and county gasoline prices, and taxes, vary across the state.
  • Proponents of the “Rebuild Alabama” infrastructure plan, including Gov. Kay Ivey, State Sen. Clyde Chambliss, State Rep. Chris England, and trade association leaders are pointing to the progress the state will see as a result of having more revenue for improving roads and bridges.
  • “Truly, every part of Alabama will see progress – from our big cities to the Black Belt,” Ivey said.
  • Read more in today’s feature story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


2. DNC officially denies Alabama seats at convention.


  • The Democratic National Committee has voted to deny seats to the two leaders of the Alabama Democratic Party after the state party missed deadlines to comply with DNC directives.
  • The DNC accepted a recommendation to revoke the credentials of Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley and Vice-Chair Randy Kelley. The sanction came after the state party missed two deadlines to hold new elections for their positions and to revise party bylaws.
  • A DNC spokesman said the action means Worley and Kelley will no longer be recognized by the DNC.
  • Worley said Friday that she expected the action, and downplayed its impact. Worley said she and Kelley will remain in their state party positions.
  • Richard Rouco, an attorney representing people who filed the challenge to Worley’s and Kelley’s election, said the action confirms the need for change at the Alabama Democratic Party.
  • Full story HERE.


3. Ivey: Open to ways to cut tolls.

  • In two recent public appearances, Gov. Kay Ivey said she hoped the tolls could be reduced or even eliminated for the Mobile bridge and bayway.
  • The project was always likely to include tolls of some kind, but a projected cost of as much as $6 one way, including on the existing Wallace Tunnel, has sparked opposition in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
  • “I wish we didn’t have to have tolls period, and we may not have to,” Ivey said Friday.
  • “We will keep looking at it, because it would be wonderful if we could have no tolls. At least let’s see if we can have less tolls, or maybe we can find ways to lower the cost.”
  • Opposing the tolls has become a potent political platform for candidates all over the state, and even for some not currently running for office.
  • In an interview with APT’s Don Daily, Ivey said she’s heard and listened to all the concerns from the opposition. Now, she said, it’s time for others to propose “solutions” that will fund the bridge, not just concerns.
  • “I want some solid good ideas of how we can pay for this bridge… We need to know some proposed solutions that are reasonable and can be implemented.”
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler and see the interview with Don Daily HERE.


4. Trump says serious talks with China to begin.


  • It was a whirlwind of a weekend for the United States vs. China trade war.
  • On Friday, China raised tariffs on more American imports. Later that day, President Trump tweeted “ordering” U.S. companies not to do business with China and calling President Xi the “enemy.”
  • On Sunday, Trump said he had “second thoughts” about escalating the trade war, which the White House later clarified as him regretting not being tougher towards China.
  • And this Monday morning, President Trump is expressing new optimism about renewing trade deal talks, calling Xi a “great leader representing a great country.”
  • Trump said he expects the two sides will talk “very seriously” about the ongoing trade war soon.
  • Much of the disagreements have to do with technology and intellectual property protections, but the dispute has negatively impacted many American manufacturers and farmers.
  • Alabama’s cotton, soybean and peanut industries have been adversely affected by the trade war.
  • Read the latest HERE.


5. Matthew Stokes: Gratitude and School Choice.


  • Earlier this month I jokingly warned that the annual deluge of back-to-school photos were coming (may have ticked off a few mommas, tbh).
  • Thankfully not everyone is as acerbic and sarcastic as me. In fact, Matthew Stokes sees the annual social media posts as a new cultural rite of passage that amounts to an expression of gratitude.
  • And that gratitude is warranted, especially for parents who are sending their kids to high-performing schools where they’ll receive a quality education.
  • But with that gratitude also comes a responsibility to help those in less fortunate districts find ways to improve their schools as well.
  • Indeed, sometimes the strongest opposition to school choice policies comes not from urban centers where most charter schools would be located, but from rural or suburban areas where they would not.
  • Stokes sees the launch of i3 Academy in Birmingham and the announcement of a $25 million grant for New Schools for Alabama to bring 15 more public charter schools to the state as positive steps.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“In both cases, these charters are actively seeking to serve the needs of students otherwise destined to spend thirteen years from kindergarten to twelfth grade stuck in schools that have long since gone off the rails. These schools pose no threat to Alabama’s best schools, and I’ll say again that there is a lot to learn from the success of small municipal districts…
“Occasionally there are rumblings about ending small municipal districts and collapsing them into a larger unified district in order to achieve a certain level of educational parity. This is a terrible idea, not only because it would trample on the hard work of smaller municipalities, but because smaller districts serve as a model for how the rest of our education system can look to improve.  
“As our children return to school this fall, we should be grateful to see our schools with fresh eyes. We should be proud of what our communities create, and we should make every effort to allow those less fortunate than us the same opportunity to create schools that give their children the opportunities they deserve.”
  • Read Matthew Stokes’ full column HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gas tax increase coming, road projects already moving
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: Look for ways to cut proposed bridge tolls
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Gratitude and School Choice
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – DNC denies seats to Alabama Party leaders
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump says ‘very serious’ talks with China to start
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prison construction proposal inches forward
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama events mark 1619 slavery anniversary
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – August 25, 2019
AL.COM  – ‘Day of Healing’ has special ring in Africatown
AL.COM  – Alabama, Michigan researchers to study heat waves
AL.COM  – Alabama humanities chief gets federal appointment
AL.COM  – Alabama drivers and employers face new laws on Sept. 1
AL.COM  – Authorities heard sexual misconduct claims against Alabama doctor for more than a decade
AL.COM  – How the new 6 cent gas tax increase will affect Alabama
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: When disagreement was common ground
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery City Council elections 2019: Here’s who is running
Montgomery Advertiser – Over 35 years, Montgomery grows with Air Force tech summit
Montgomery Advertiser – Local students, companies, military team up to solve problems
YellowHammer News – Alabama officials seek greater collaboration, investment between Israel and business in the state
YellowHammer News – Ivey on Mobile Bridge anti-toll detractors: There is a lot of noise in the system — We need solutions, not just noise’
YellowHammer News – ALFA’s Parnell: ‘Very concerned’ about who will be the next generation of farmers
Tuscaloosa News – Elementary and middle schools to hold open houses
Tuscaloosa News – Attorneys: Charges expected in Florida nursing home deaths
Tuscaloosa News – Bullet fired through Florida preschool classroom
Decatur Daily – – Decatur’s Mr. Reliable: Hastings working his third interim job with school district
Decatur Daily – – Transition to new ambulance ordinance will have ‘some hiccups
Decatur Daily – – Gas taxes go up Sept. 1, but officials say roads will be better
Decatur Daily – Colbert EMA will apply for FEMA funds for storm shelter
Times Daily – New Alabama marriage law takes affect Thursday
Times Daily – School tax renewal election set for Tuesday
Times Daily – Radio repair shop could begin restoration in September
Gadsden Times – Drivers, employers face new laws on Sept. 1
Gadsden Times – Chamber shares progress on 5-year plan to move Etowah County forward
Gadsden Times – Boaz City Council approves bid for new recreation center
Anniston Star – ‘IT’S GREAT TO KNOW’
Phillip Tutor: White Plains students, teachers discover grave of principal’s ancestor at historic cemetery
Anniston Star – Rumble on Loop brings Reverend Horton Heat to Oxford
Anniston Star – Alabama hospitals gain short-term help for long-term problem
Troy Messenger – Municipal election fundraising begins this weekend
Troy Messenger – Giddy up: Peacock wins bull-riding crown as rodeo begins
Troy Messenger – Brundidge library is planting seeds, growing words
Andalusia Star News – Amazon still burning at record rate
Andalusia Star News – Top 3 Covington County pharmacies received more than 10 million units of opioids
Andalusia Star News – DEA: 25.9 million units of opioids brought into Covington County
Opelika-Auburn News – PHOTOS: Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center Grand Opening Festival – Saturday
Opelika-Auburn News – Man struck by train late Friday night in Opelika
Opelika-Auburn News – Local United Way kicks off new season, new goals
Daily Mountain Eagle – AT&T workers, CWA on strike
Daily Mountain Eagle – Cawaco gives $32,400 in local grants
Daily Mountain Eagle – Warnings on parking issued for Foothills setup
Trussville Tribune – UPDATE: Second suspect in Grayson Valley murder now in custody
Trussville Tribune – Bridge in Northport reopen after fatal tanker crash
Trussville Tribune – Attorneys: Charges expected in Florida nursing home deaths
Sand Mountain Reporter – School News: Meet the Aggies
Sand Mountain Reporter – School News: Learn about Albertville High School’s FBLA Club
Sand Mountain Reporter – School News: Here’s to HOSA
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery church vandalized second time in 2 weeks
WSFA Montgomery – East Ala. nonprofit hosts day of fun honoring 10-year- old tornado victim
WSFA Montgomery – Construction begins on church destroyed by Wetumpka tornado
Fox 6 Birmingham – Grown and Greek Weekend takes over the Magic City
Fox 6 Birmingham – Man accused of stealing car and crashing it into a building after police chase
Fox 6 Birmingham – One person dead after collision with tanker truck in Tuscaloosa
WAFF Huntsville – Two Colbert County schools delayed on Monday
WAFF Huntsville – BREAKING: One person dead in domestic shooting in Limestone County
WAFF Huntsville – BREAKING: Water rescue taking place in Colbert County
WKRG Mobile – UWF continues band outfit crowdfunding campaign
WKRG Mobile – Mother warns other parents after her child encounters ‘stranger danger’
WKRG Mobile – 2 wrecks within 30 minutes of each other cause traffic jam on I-65 NB
WTVY Dothan – Dothan Police search for shooting suspect
WTVY Dothan – DNC denies seats to Alabama Party leaders
WTVY Dothan – Alabama man mistakenly released back in custody
WASHINGTON POST  – G-7 summit set to end with little consensus amid Trump’s mixed messaging on the trade war
WASHINGTON POST  – Columnist Robert Samuelson: We’re making a high-stakes gamble on the deficit.
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Faces a Stubborn Opponent in Fed’s Economic Experts
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House



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